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How do I Choose the Best Precast Concrete Pavers?

Article Details
  • Written By: Terrie Brockmann
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Typically, precast concrete pavers simulate natural stone pavers, and manufacturers sell pavers in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors. As well as offering a large diversity of textures, most manufacturers offer them in an array of finishes. The large and diverse selection may confuse buyers. Therefore, when choosing pavers, you should consider the location where they will be laid, the landscape design, and the project budget.

When considering whether to use precast concrete pavers, it is helpful to understand what the product is. Precast pavers are manufactured products that landscapers and homeowners use in a variety of ways. Many people construct walkways with them, but they are equally suitable for driveways and pool edgings. The pavers cost less than natural stone and are more durable Most Europeans prefer the pavers to a solid pour of concrete because it is aesthetically nicer and is easier to maintain, and the product is gaining popularity in the United States.

Choosing the best precast concrete pavers for a project is relatively simple. Most building and landscaping centers offer a large array of products and usually can order other styles and colors. When selecting pavers, a buyer should consider the design of the area where they will be laid. The pavers can simulate almost any material, including brick, cobblestone, and wooden planks.

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The type of finish applied will change the look. Common finishes are smooth, exposed aggregate, and acid-etched. Some pavers are tumbled to round the edges and give them an aged look. Other finishing techniques are shot-blasted, hammered, and sandblasted. When choosing pavers, the buyer needs to consider these aesthetic touches.

Buyers should ensure that the pavers can withstand the weather and environmental conditions in their particular areas. Manufacturers design the concrete mix for different environments. Special pavers are necessary in areas near salt water or a salty atmosphere, such as salt-water pools or salt-water ponds. Other special considerations are regions that get extreme weather fluctuations.

Precast concrete pavers are durable enough to be a driveway material. There are a few considerations to be aware of when building a driveway with pavers. The success of a driveway often depends on the base under the pavers. It is advisable to have an expert lay the base because the subsoil structure impacts the base the pavers rest on.

When laying pavers, most professionals use edging pavers to hold the main pavers in place. Some people refer to these as edge restraints. A person who is considering building a patio, driveway, or walkway with precast concrete pavers should consider which type of edging pavers would complement the pavers.

Environmentally, pavers are an advantage over solid surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete. Permeable pavers are common pavers, and the water naturally drains between the pavers, unlike solid surfaces that create runoff. Another type of precast concrete pavers is the porous paver, which is not solid. Manufacturers cast them with an open center that the homeowner can fill with mulch, aggregate, or vegetation, such as grass, low-growing ground cover, or fragrant herbs. The large voids in the center of the paver allow water to drain into the soil naturally.

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